CIFF47: PSQ March 22 – April 1, 2023 | Streams April 2 – April 9, 2023


Year: 2019
Country: USA
Language: English
Run Time: 94 minutes


Football players were dwindling for teams at Milwaukee’s Messmer (urban and predominately Black) and Shorewood (affluent and largely white) high schools. To give boys the opportunity to play under the famous Friday night lights, the communities decided to merge their rosters and form the Messwood football team. As the Messwood Greyhounds enter a rebuilding season after losing a strong senior class, the growing pains are evident on and off the field. While Coach Davis aims to primarily use football to teach commitment and discipline, the stark differences between the challenging home lives and opportunities afforded to his Black and white players are impossible to ignore. Beyond game film and two-minute drills, the coaching staff must create a support system to keep players eligible academically and motivated to know they are worth more than their segregated streets. The engaging documentary MESSWOOD explores the powerful role of high school sports, racial divides among parents versus their children, and how we still have a long way to go before we’re truly playing on the same team. —A.B.

CIFF46 Screenings

Connor Palace

Saturday, April 02, 2022 at 4:45 PM

Sunday, April 03, 2022 at 2:15 PM

  • This screening has been cancelled.

Mimi Ohio Theatre

Friday, April 08, 2022 at 11:45 AM

CIFF46 Streams On Demand

Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 11:00 AM -
Sunday, April 17, 2022 at 11:59 PM

Streams Access: United States and US Territories
Accessibility (?)
Closed Captions: Yes
Audio Description: No
English Subtitles: No

Black Cinema
Teen-Friendly Films

Reel Women Direct Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman
Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition
FilmSlam Student Choice Award for Best Feature

Director Director

Emily Kuester, Brad Lichtenstein

Emily Kuester, Brad Lichtenstein

David E. Simpson

Keith Walker, Erik Ljung, Brad Litchtenstein, Colin Sytsma

David E. Simpson

Film Contact

Community Partners

Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Cleveland Chapter

Positive Education Program

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